Narcissus 'King Alfred' is a perennial bulb coming from the first horticultural division of the genus Narcissus according to the American Daffodil Society. It is the largest of all of the trumpet daffodils, often reaching up to 22 inches (56 cm) tall with flowers being about 4 inches (10 cm) across. We use these bulbs for our "Plant Care and Cultivation" class to show the students bulb vernalization. It is a very reliable bulb to use for this purpose. King Alfred is the best daffodil for forcing and is very showy in containers or in the landscape. Bulbs are hardy in USDA zones 3-8.
Blooming: King Alfred daffodils can be forced to bloom at anytime of the year. In the landscape here in zone 7, they bloom in early spring, often being the only daffodil in flower at this time. The solitary golden yellow flowers are up to 4 inches (10 cm) across and very fragrant.
Culture: Narcissus 'King Alfred' needs full sun to light shade with a well-drained soil mix. For bulbs in containers, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sand or perlite. To each 0.01 cubic yards of soil mix we add 3 cups of bone meal to the mix. Three bulbs are planted in a 6 inch bulb pan and watered. The containers are then placed in the refrigerator and checked periodically for water. The containers should be kept moist but not overly wet. At the end of 8 weeks in the refrigerator, they are brought out into the cool rooms in the greenhouse. The plants will bloom in approximately 6 weeks from being introduced into the greenhouse. We usually force blooming to occur at around Thanksgiving, when the flowers make a bright addition to the table. If grown in the landscape, bulbs should be planted in the fall. Bulbs should be planted 6 inches (15 cm) deep and 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) apart. After the planting hole is dug, you should add at least 4 tablespoons of bone meal to every hole. King Alfred daffodils have a very long lifespan and will be enjoyed in the garden for many years. Bulbs should be divided about every 5 years or so.
Propagation: Narcissus 'King Alfred' is propagated by division of large clumps of bulbs after flowering in spring.
Narcissus 'King Alfred' Daffodil was featured as Plant of the Week December 12-18, 2008.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.